THERE ARE VERY FEW EMERGENCIES in decorating, but I have taken a rare misstep. I might as well burn a $100 bill. Plus, it’s consuming an entire evening of my life, an evening I could have spent, oh, painting something.
I got tired of looking for the perfect yard sale or thrift shop coat rack. It’s jacket season, and I have no closet in my front hall, so I succumbed to the temptation to buy a new standing ‘coat tree’ online. That took some searching, too, but finally I ordered this, in white, from Urban Outfitters. I didn’t even think about whether it would come assembled — not that the site said ‘Assembly Required’ in large letters. All I thought was: it’s beachy, it’s fun. Not everything has to have gravitas.
I guess I assumed it would come assembled, that the UPS man would jump from his truck with a 6′ tall box and I’d take it out of the box and plunk it down in the front hall.
But no, it came all the way from China in a box only 2 feet square and 2 inches deep. Inside: 14 metal pieces and 21 screws, and two pages of instructions like “Attach part (F) to post (D) with screws (G).”
In the past, my son would have put this thing together in a flash, and enjoyed doing it. As it is, me bein’ alone and all, I figured, well, I’ll give it a shot. Got nothin’ else to do. It took probably 20 minutes just to get everything out of its wrappings — bubble, cardboard, tape, baggies — and then to figure out what went where. I picked up the screwdriver, and 30 minutes later, grumbling to myself all the while (“not exactly precision engineering, hmphh”), I had the bottom half put together. It seemed pretty sturdy. And tackier by the second.
Then I got to the midsection, where you screw 3 foot-long rods together to make the main support. Rod (B) would not go smoothly into rod (C). There’s half an inch of threading showing. I’m ready to stick this thing in the basement. I’ve still got the whole top to do, and it’s too big for the corner I planned to put it in.
In short, I hate it. I could return it for a refund, I suppose, go through the whole process in reverse — unscrew, re-wrap, pack. It would take just a couple of hours. And then the shipping.
For the moment, I’ve stopped. I’ll sleep on it. Face The Thing again in the morning light.